Comedy genius Quinta Brunson nailed her highly anticipated “Saturday Night Live” hosting debut. The “Abbott Elementary” creator led the April 1 episode of the late-night sketch comedy show which also featured musical guest Lil Yachty. The award-winning writer and comedian kicked off the evening with a funny and poignant monologue that honored her mom, who was a Philadelphia teacher in real life.
During her monologue, Brunson reminded people that she’s not quite as wholesome as her onscreen counterpart, Janine. “I’m glad people are enjoying ‘Abbott,’ but I wish people didn’t expect me to be just like my character all the time in public,” she said. “Janine Teagues is a caring second grade teacher who is good and wholesome. But I’m… the opposite.”
She went on to joke that she likes her “butterbeer with Hennessy,” before revealing she’s had to lie to her mom about who she has been hanging out with lately. For instance, she didn’t reveal to her mother that when she said she was having dinner, she meant she was having dinner with former President Barack Obama. Luckily, it all worked out, because Obama graciously recorded a video for Brunson’s mom, which she shared during her monologue.
In the video, Obama thanked Brunson’s mother for her work as a teacher. “Hi, I’m with your daughter here,” he said. “We’re so proud of her, but really proud of you, not only because you’re obviously a great mom, but because you are a teacher. The most important job there is.”
Brunson wrapped up her monologue by advocating for teachers to receive the appropriate pay for the invaluable work they do. “Please, remember how important teachers are,” she said. “Acknowledge the work they do every day and for the love of God, pay them the money they deserve.”
Ahead of Saturday’s episode, Brunson tweeted about her excitement for her debut, writing, “I’m hosting #snl this weekend :),” alongside a sweet photo of her and longtime “SNL” star Kenan Thompson. But she’s not the only “Abbott Elementary” star who’s thrilled about her “SNL” appearance.
Though Brunson wasn’t the first to break the “SNL” news to her costars, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Lisa Ann Walter, and William Stanford Davis all told Entertainment Tonight earlier this month that they’re happy for their TV boss. “You know she’s going to be great,” Ralph said, while Walter added, “I’m going to have a watch party.”
Check out all of Brunson’s “SNL” sketches ahead, including her tribute to her mom.